04 Nov Have You Fallen Out of Love With Your Soulmate?
“You’re NOT the person I fell in love with!”
Have you ever thought this about your partner (or yourself)?
You’re not alone. The initial attraction we feel to our partners seems like destiny at the time. We get a gut feeling—THIS is the person I’m supposed to be with forever. Your intuition tells you that this is your soulmate.
But what if that feeling was actually your gut telling you, “Danger Will Robinson, run like hell!”?
In the first heat of love, your sympathetic nervous system causes your heart rate, blood pressure, and breath to speed up. Your palms get sweaty; you can’t think straight. The oxygen in your brain has just rushed into the most powerful escape tools in your body—our legs (and other organs).
That “feeling” is a rush of endorphins. Hence, “I can’t live with you or without you.” It’s like heroin. It feels soooo good—and it’s the kiss of death.
Why do humans respond this way to each other?
Well, it’s either God’s funny joke (thanks a lot, dude) or it’s nature’s way of helping us procreate. With all these hormones coursing through our bodies, we can jump wildly into sex without consulting our brains for any sort of rationality.
It’s such a rush, that we often wake up the next morning wondering what the hell just happened—which our mind optimistically interprets as “AHHHHHHHHHH!!! I must have died and gone to heaven!”
But after the high wears off, what happens to heaven?
So basically, your reptilian brain has taken over and decided who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. The problem with that strategy is that most reptiles track down a new partner the next day, whereas we humans are often looking for a trail mate to accompany us into ripe old age.
So often, we confuse the initial excitement of meeting someone with true, enduring love. But when the honeymoon wears off, the shit begins to stink.
Now (one year, three years, five years), your rational brain kicks in and starts to list the the pros and cons of being together. You start to keep score to state your case for a future break up.
Is my partner contributing to the relationship as much as I am? Are they working as hard?
The answer—of course—is always a big fat “NO.” This is your ego-protection kicking in; you need to build up enough evidence to prove to yourself that it wasn’t your own fault for marrying this bum. You must have been manipulated! Or seduced! Or lied to! Something must have tricked you into falling for this sloth, because nobody in their right mind would ever put up with this shit.
Meanwhile, your partner is doing the exact same thing. Both of you build up a solid case, confident that you are right and the other is wrong. The intensity builds as both parties choose being right over staying connected.
So, why don’t we break up at this point?
By now, something really familiar has started to tug at your subconscious. There’s something about your partner that fits like a glove. You can’t imagine yourself without them. This person shows you the qualities in yourself that you don’t love or acknowledge, and you feel (co)dependent on them to make you whole. Yes, you might wake up repulsed by your partner because they spend more time, say, socializing (extroverted), than at home with me (introverted). But when you think back to the beginning, this was exactly what attracted you to them in the first place.
And that’s where the thing you once loved about your “soulmate,” becomes the very same thing you can’t stand. In the beginning, you wanted to be more outgoing and admired your partner’s courage. But now, you find yourself saying things like, “You are just like my mother.”
Surprise! We marry people who are just like one (or both) of our parents. We stuff our repulsion for them into our Shadow bag. And the more we try to avoid that pothole in the road, the more we’re drawn right toward it.
The icing on the cake? We then convince ourselves that we can fix this person, if we just work hard enough. We take on our partner on as a personal project. Oh, we begin to feel so good about ourselves in comparison to this hapless fool.
Alternatively, we dismiss our own knowing, telling ourselves that our partner is our teacher. (Of course this is true in some ways—but do we really want to be in school ‘til death do us part?) Or we feel so insecure about ever being able to feel whole within ourselves, that we grab whatever morsels we can get to avoid abandonment.
Either way, this is how couples get stuck in the quicksand of anxiety, sinking with every move.
This codependent pattern has taken out some of the best people I know. It almost took me out. Unfortunately, most of us are afraid to break these patterns—most people aren’t even aware that these patterns CAN be broken, let alone how to go about breaking them. We have no idea about the possibilities for Higher Love.
But like most of the important life lessons, everyone has to go through this experience in order to learn what we don’t want. It’s unavoidable.
But don’t despair—this is all actually a good thing. (I promise.)
Every time you cycle through a difficult partnership, or an even more difficult breakup, you catch a glimpse of what it means to truly, ruthlessly love yourself.
And that, as Whitney Houston taught us so many years ago, is the greatest love of all.
If you would like to learn more about the codependent traps of excitement, intensity, and anxiety, and how to transform your relationship into a co-creative, self-unifying love that honors both intimacy and autonomy, check out this page.
Or, if you’re ready to dive right in, give us a call at 828-545-1899!
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